News for private Landlords

News and information for landlords of private rented properties

Landlord Event 2017 - Tuesday 26th September

Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Hopeville Avenue, St Peters, Broadstairs CT10 2TR

The Thanet Landlords’ Focus Group and Thanet District Council invite local landlords and managing agents to attend our annual Landlord Event.

The National Landlords Association, Residential Landlords Association and Southern Landlords Association are all regular contributors. There is normally time before and after the presentations for networking, and public agency and trade stands are usually on hand to offer help and advice.

Download the Event programme here.

If you are interested in attending (or exhibiting or speaking at) the next event, you can obtain more information by contacting the Private Sector Housing Team on 01843 577437 or by emailing landlordsfocusgroup@thanet.gov.uk .

Places are limited, so pre-booking is recommended.

Continuing Professional Development ("CPD") certificates are available, but only for pre-booked attendees.

Here are the items discussed at the last Landlord Event held on 29th June 2016.

  • Waste management
  • Margate Task Force
  • Landlord Association updates 
  • Selective Licensing
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
  • Universal Credit benefit

Do your tenants have the ‘Right to Rent’?

From 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to make right to rent checks. This means checking that tenants have the right to be in the UK.

What this means for landlords

You need to make right to rent checks if you:

  • are a private landlord
  • have a lodger
  • are sub-letting a property
  • are an agent appointed by a landlord to make right to rent checks

Find out what you need to do.   You could be fined up to £3000 if you rent out a property to someone who is in the UK illegally.

Thanet Landlords Focus Group

The Focus Group has been running since 2008 and works with the council to provide the landlord's perspective.  The Group is made up of landlords and managing agents, who own or manage properties in Thanet.

The Focus Group provides a forum for consultation and offers landlords the opportunity to make suggestions on how the council can improve services to them. It also leads on ideas for the council’s Landlord Events.  Find out more about the Focus Group

Landlord Liaison Service

Our Housing Options Team have dedicated Landlord Liaison Officers who work with landlords/agents and tenants to offer support regarding tenancy issues.

We can offer support with the following:

  • Rent arrears
  • Housing Benefit issues
  • Discretionary Housing Payments
  • Debt advice
  • Budgeting advice
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Tenancy sustainment
  • Assistance with seeking/securing alternative accommodation
  • Referrals for floating support
  • Sign posting to other agencies.

We recognise that if you have tenants that are not engaging to resolve an issue that this is challenging for a landlord, therefore we would like to offer support and explore options.

Where efforts to resolve a tenancy issue fail or the landlord requires the tenant to leave the property, we work closely with tenants to seek/secure alternatives.

Make a referral to us

Download a Landlord Liaison Referral form and return to LLO@thanet.gov.uk.

To speak to a Landlord Liaison Officer please contact 01843 577277, option 3.

We also operate a Help to Move Scheme an incentive for landlords who may be seeking new tenants.

Assistance in finding a tenant

We often receive enquiries from a variety of households looking for accommodation in the district.  We can liaise with local landlords and letting agents to match these households with any available property.

Tenant referencing

The Tenant referencing scheme helps landlords find suitable tenants.  It allows the council to check basic information about tenants and highlight any issues that landlords need to be aware of before taking on a new tenant.  This includes checking on credit and debt history; criminal activity; anti-social activity; nuisance, and tenancy breaches.  Each applicant will be given a coloured scoring using a system of red, amber and green to reflect the level of risk they may pose to any new landlord.

Landlord Incentive Schemes

The council operates a Thanet Help to Move Scheme which aims to help applicants find accommodation in the private sector.  The Scheme can help applicants who may be unable to pay a month’s Deposit, and/or pay rent in advance.  It benefits the landlord in finding a tenant for their property.

Landlord and Tenant Mediation

The Landlord Liaison Service is designed to act as a direct point of contact for local landlords and letting agents who are experiencing difficulties with tenants.  The service can mediate between tenants and landlords on a number of issues including: housing benefits; rent arrears; anti-social behaviour nuisance; damage or disrepair.  The aim of mediation is to resolve difficulties and help build sustainable tenancies in the district.

Housing Benefit/Welfare Reform

The Landlord Liaison Service can offer advice on housing benefit and welfare reform as well as liaising with the Benefits Department.  The service can help vulnerable households make and sustain benefit claims.  We can also support requests for payments to be made direct to landlords and letting agents, and can advise on Discretionary Housing Payments.

Legal rights and responsibilities

The landlord and tenant relationship is bound by the law.  The Landlord Liaison Service can advise and help on issues with tenancy agreements; property repairs, breach of tenancy; service notice of seeking possession, and evictions procedures.

Contact the Landlord Liaison Service

If you are a landlord or letting agent and would like to speak directly with a Landlord Liaison Officer please call 01843 577344, or you can email us at LLO@thanet.gov.uk 

Selective Licensing Scheme

After local consultation, a selective licensing scheme was introduced in parts of Cliftonville in April 2011. All private landlords who let residential property in the designated area must hold a licence. Find out more about selective licensing. 

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

The council must have a mandatory licensing scheme for certain types of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).  Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 sets out how we must do this.  Since April 2006, you must have a licence if you own and rent out an HMO of three or more storeys which is occupied by 5 or more persons.

The aim of the scheme is to improve living and safety standards for tenants, and to improve the standard of management by landlords.  Find out more about HMO licensing.

Kent Landlord Accreditation Scheme (KLAS)

Thanet council is a member of the Kent Landlord Accreditation Scheme (KLAS).  The scheme aims to recognise good landlords and agents who have the skills needed to run a successful rental business and provide good quality and safe accommodation. Since the scheme was launched over 100 landlords who manage properties in the district have become members.  For information about the scheme and how to join, visit www.londonlandlords.org.uk

Landlord Accreditation Courses

There are various courses running throughout the year.  If you would like to book a place on a course, either go to the website or contact the accreditation office for a paper application form at LLAS-UKLAP, c/o Private Sector Housing Team, Housing and Adult Social Care, London Borough of Camden, 2nd Floor, Bidborough House, 38-50 Bidborough Street, London, WC1H 9DB.

Accredited landlords and agents are eligible for discounts on HMO and selective licensing fees.

Landlord Event 2016

The 2016 event hosted by Thanet Council's Private Sector Housing Team was held on 29th June.  Topics under discussion were:

  • Waste management
  • Margate Task Force
  • Landlord Association updates 
  • Selective Licensing
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
  • Universal Credit benefit

Another Event is planned during summer 2017.  

Enforcement Policy for Guidance for Private Sector Housing 2014

For fairness and transparency, it is important that the Council is open about how it conducts itself by publishing an enforcement policy with associated guidance.

As such the Council adopted its Enforcement Policy and Guidance for Private Sector Housing 2014 in 2014.

Benefits Information

Landlords’ Fire Safety

Valuable fire safety advice is available from the Kent Fire and Rescue Service web site.  The service can help you with fire regulations, risk assessment, fire equipment and devices for your properties and other information.